MINELRES: ERRC: Anti-Romani Hatred Promoted by Hungarian Media

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Tue Oct 24 18:30:45 2006


Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org>


ERRC Concerned at Inflammatory Responses to Mob Crime

Budapest, 17 October 2006. The European Roma Rights Centre was 
dismayed to learn from the Hungarian media of beating death of Lajos 
Szogi, aged 44, by an angry mob. The assault took place in the 
afternoon hours of October 15 in the village Olaszliszka in 
Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen County, Hungary, as a reaction to a road 
incident in which Mr Szogi hit a 11-year-old young girl with his car. 
The ERRC condemns mob violence as a very grave crime, and urges the 
Hungarian authorities to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation 
into all the circumstances of the events and bring all perpetrators to
justice.

The ERRC expresses concern at the way this crime has been covered in 
a number of Hungarian media outlets, including major commercial 
Hungarian TV channels and dailies, such as TV2 and Magyar Nemzet. 
These and reportedly others have engaged in blaming of the local Roma 
community, quoting spokespersons of various organisations, public 
figures and media representatives as revealing of the "Roma issue". A 
number of media also labelled the alleged perpetrators 
indiscriminately as "the Roma". Some publications contained extremely 
ugly incitement to racist violence, as for example an article by 
Zsolt Bayer in Magyar Nemzet of 17 October, 2006, advising drivers to 
step on the gas and drive away without stopping if they run over a 
Romani child Such publications must be condemned in the strongest 
terms and journalists held accountable for fostering anti-Romani 
racial hatred and contributing to the stigmatization of an entire ethnic
group.

The ERRC calls on Hungarian journalists, editors and other members of 
the media to refrain from inflaming racist sentiment and to maintain 
high professional standards of responsible journalism. Racially 
inflamatory publications may abruptly and/or dramatically degrade the 
public sphere, cause threats to individuals, or otherwise give rise 
to arbitrary, race-based harms.

_____________________________________________

The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest 
law organisation which monitors the rights of Roma and provides legal 
defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more information about 
the European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the web at 
http://www.errc.org.

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93
Hungary

Phone: +36 1 4132200
Fax: +36 1 4132201
_____________________________________________

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